Serial Trainer

{January 6, 2011}   ……what?

I read this article and…I must say..I was almost in a fit. Almost.

I see his point but this author is playing a dangerous game with the health of millions of people.

I’ve stated before that you don’t HAVE to have a gym to work out but the theory that gyms are a scam is rubbish. The fact is…that like going to church or AA meetings..people like to be in groups ..and NEED the escape of being with others that share a common goal.

Surely, if you can get the same workout doing sports or martial arts..good! But there is no shame in having a little vanity and taking pride in ones self.

The other point he tries to make is that exercise makes you hungry …uh ..well yeah. Duh. We were grazers. We walked around and foraged for food. That’s what humans do!

The fact that we are sedentary as a general rule..with the influx of technology doing a lot of our work for us..hasn’t taken away from that natural instinct. We still eat because we’re hungry..and when we’re not ..because when we see or smell food..our bodies respond with “hell yeah! We found it”..except that its so readily available.

I could rant about the obvious issues we face..the inability to stay hungry, the lack of skills to cope with the emotional or psychological problems..but the fact remains that exercise has more benefits than “playing to ones sense of vanity”

If more people loved themselves we might have less things to worry about than paying $20 bucks a month to workout on the treadmill.


{January 5, 2011}   Clarification..Serial Trainer

Some people have said that there is copycat “serial trainer” out there ..

just to clarify …I’ve looked the other one up and be still your hearts, that person is not me and they have nothing to do with this site or working out for that matter. However!…we both love martial arts! So that’s a good thing..I think.

Every serial k…er..trainer..;D must have a copy cat..but they never quite live up to the original.

Happy Training!

{January 5, 2011}   Kettle Calling the Pot..belly?

Some of you have read my “Poor Man’s Gym” and I wanted to update some exercises for those of you that don’t have access to a home gym and want to tear it up at home. I cannot stress the importance of kettle balls and bands enough. If you want a nice, toned look..these two items will help you obtain it and even more so if you combine them with calisthenics.

Now, some of you are sitting there with that “deer in the headlight” look and wondering what the heck that big word, calisthenics, means:

calisthenics: are a form of dynamic exercise consisting of a variety of simple, often rhythmical, movements, generally using minimal equipment or apparatus. They are intended to increase body strength and flexibility with movements such as bending, jumping, swinging, twisting or kicking, using only one’s body weight for resistance. [from the ever famous Wikipedia!]

I’m including a picture that will give you some ideas for kettle ball exercises. You can YOUTUBE them and find tons of them. I guarantee that they will kick your butt!

{January 3, 2011}   For Women Only!

So my most popular post is “Happy National Chest Day” and I thought I’d expand on this one because there are so many people interested in it, but I don’t think there’s enough information out there for women that want to tone up and have no real guidance. The common scenario I get is: “I’ve just been doing my boyfriend/husband/brother’s routine” and I ask, “How’s that going for you?” and they say, “I don’t know, I don’t like it too much” to which I respond, “So are your goals to look like your husband/boyfriend/brother?”

I get the oddest looks to that question. But it makes sense, doesn’t it? Anyone that doesn’t ask what your goals are before designing or suggesting a workout regimen for you needs to NOT be designing your workout regimen.

Most women want a lean, sexy look so that they can fit into their tops and feel confident. They don’t want “big guns” and a “chiseled chest” in most cases. So why on earth are they doing chest presses at max weight for 5-10 reps? It doesn’t even take the stand six weeks to see that you’re looking more bulky and your scale numbers are going up.

One thing I like to recommend to my female clients is Pilates. Integrating Pilates moves into your workouts helps strengthen your core muscles and improve your posture. I also suggest some Yoga moves or classes. Stretching the muscles and improving your balance is also very important. If you mix up your routine to include a little of those two types of exercises, you’ll find that your body will take on some very nice results.

Now, let’s hone in on key problem areas for women and address them!

“The Bra Stuff” — The floppy skin that hangs over your bra. Oh c’mon let’s keep it real! How many times have you gone to put on your bra and a form fitting shirt only to see what didn’t fit, muffin out a little?

How to fix it: Cardio. 30-45 mins and lat pull. A good way to find your right weight is to do a few reps. The last five should be the hardest ones and give you just a little struggle. It’s best to have a trainer (if you belong to a gym) do an orientation with you so we can watch your posture and form. In most cases this is a free service offered by your health club. The purpose of the orientation is to tell us if you’re using the right muscle groups, if you’re compensating with another and most importantly, it helps us protect you from pulling muscles or injuring yourself.

If you don’t have a trainer it’s best to invest in a mirror. Watch your form and be sure that you do your research into exactly how that exercise should be done.

“Soft Fluffy Shoulders” — If your neck slopes down in an hourglass form into your shoulders, this is you.
Some people naturally carry their weight differently than others. That’s just the way it is. Nothing to be ashamed of. How your shaped is your own special look and you cannot change your body shape, only how it looks. If you’re curvaceous, that’s ok! If you’ve got narrow hips, that’s OK too! You can accent different areas of your body to draw attention to where you want it. In this case the “Fluffy Shoulders” is frustrating to females that feel like their built like a football player…gear and all.

How to fix it: Cardio. (some of you are starting to get the hint that there’s a pattern to this by now) In order to accentuate the beautiful line of the neck and sexy shoulders. There are a few exercises that can enhance the look but the key is to be careful that you do them correctly or else you’ll end up with an even bulkier look.

Shoulder Raises: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. You should have two light dumbbells in your hands with palms facing down. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly as you raise your arms in front of you to chest level, inhale again as you bring them down and then repeat but bring your arms out to either side (again, to shoulder level). A good hint is to do this exercise slowly..count 1-1000, 2-2000, 3-3000 etc..up to 5-5000. Do a set of 12-15, rest and repeat 2 more times. Be careful not to use your neck!

“Gravity” — Does this need further explanation? In order to give you a lifted look, doing chest presses in a slightly angled position works the chest to give you your own “wonder bra” effect. You can do this on a bench or on a fitness ball. If you this is your first time, start on a bench because the fitness ball will throw off your balance. You can use your dumbbells, bands or barbell. I usually prefer to train female (and male) clients with bands because there is equal resistance throughout the motion and it’s harder to cheat.

Start with your hands at chest level, take a deep breath and exhale as you push upward. Your arms should make a large arc, hugging motion as you bring them upward, then meet in the middle above your chest. Give an extra squeeze and then release to repeat. If you’re trying to tone the muscles and not bulk up, do the same repetitions/sets as the previous exercise.

“Got Cleavage?”Who doesn’t want a nice cleavage when wearing V-Neck shirts or the cute babydoll tops that are all the fashion?

How to fix it: Push-ups!..and Cardio. (did you think you were getting away with it??)

Push ups can be done several ways. Arms wide for more chest isolation and arms closer to work them triceps! Try changing it up and do three sets, working up to 20. Once you get more advanced, try doing them at an incline by raising your feet on a chair or bench, you can also do them with your hands on a dynadisk or fitness ball (be careful!). I also throw in a change here and there by having clients keep one hand on an elevated surface (like a book or small ball) then alternate each rep from side to side. Get creative and challenge yourself. Push-ups work more than your chest and triceps, so you’ll start seeing the difference in your posture as well.

There’s a lot more I can put in here but I’ve decided to break it up. Stay tuned for part 2 and give me some feedback or questions!

{August 6, 2008}   Bosu Body: Total Workout

When I was first introduced to the Bosu, it quickly became one of my favorite training elements both personally and professionally. Any exercise that you can do on a stable surface will be amplified if done on a Bosu. Adding it to your home gym or implementing it into your gym workout (if they carry them) is a sure fire way to kick start your muscles into a calorie kung-fu show down.

I found this site and it gives some great instruction and illustration of exercises done on the Bosu.

Some of the awesome benefits of using the Bosu:

– increase stability
– work the core
– strengthen balance
– increase calorie burn
– incorporates more muscles

Right now the Bosu retails for about $99.99 and is available nearly everywhere on the web. The Bosu site has some great exercises as well and I know that a lot of health clubs are now developing, if not already incorporating, Bosu classes. If you’re looking for an ultimate challenge to add to your normal routine, this is definitely the route to go.

{July 29, 2008}   the bodybugg

I worked for 24 Hour Fitness, here in Houston, for a couple of years before I decided to go back to school. I loved this club because they endorse education in their trainers but also in their members. As a trainer, I was allowed to give my member a well balanced workout and on top of that, I was privy to the Apex company.

Apex has a piece of equipment called the BodyBugg and it’s won several awards. I highly recommend that if you’re willing to spend $2-300 on any other program/diet fad/trainer, etc, that you research this piece of equipment.

As big as an MP3 player that straps to your arm, this device tells you an accurate, detailed account of how many calories you burn during the day. Smarter than a pedometer, you can’t just walk, jump or wiggle in place to make it think you’re taking steps per day. You actually have to move.

It designs a workout program for you, lets you put your meals in, edit your weight and measurements and reminds you of how many calories you have left to eat in your daily regimen based on your goals.

I scream praises about it because I’ve seen first hand, not only in myself, but in the people I have trained and recommended to friends to use..amazing results. The best part is? They did it themselves. There were no expensive gym memberships. No expensive trainers (not that hiring a trainer is bad, most especially if you are just starting out!!!). No crazy menus.

You eat what you want, when you want. And if you need help? Guess what. They even include sample menus for you!

A lot of websites are promoting doing the same thing but you don’t get the actual device that you wear daily. Most of us don’t even know how many calories we actually burn doing a day. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, most of us are gaining weight exponentially because we do not move enough to burn that many calories a day!

The average person burns 700-1600 calories a day. You do the math.

If anyone out there has used or plans on using the bodybugg, let me hear from you!!

{July 29, 2008}   Let’s Get Started!

Hello, everyone! For those of you that drop in, this would be my introductory post on what I hope is a very active and informative blog.

I’m 34 years old and I currently reside in Houston, Tx. I’m originally from Chicago, IL. What that means to you, is that I have lived in both a Southern Friendly environment with a love for their BBQ and Fried Foods and I’ve lived in the Midwest where people love their meat and potatoes.

I have worked in the fitness industry for more than ten years and have seen every fad imaginable. I have also worked in an all women’s club, which I found very rewarding, then expanded my horizons to work in a co-ed gym. Working with men as a female trainer is a lot harder than you may think.

I’m not a professional writer, I just have a love and passion for helping people. I was working with friends in Chicago via the interweb and decided after they had gained such positve results, that I could — and should — help people all over.

I will include my thoughts and helpful hints here. I endorse very few things but the things I do endorse I am not getting paid to do so (at least not at this time…hint, hint!). I can tell you that I would not endorse anything I felt I couldn’t/wouldn’t use myself or let my own family/friends use.

I’m also bi-polar, which means that I understand how much harder it is to get motivated everyday. I’m not a gung-ho, freak-on-supps, trainer. I’m a down to earth, mother of four boys with real issues and problems that people face everyday. My kids don’t even -like- vegetables!

So in this crazy world, I’m doing what I can to keep some chins up and inspiration at a tolerable level. I’m called the Serial Trainer because I’m also going to school full time to become a doctor with a minor in Psychology and I hope to focus in the area of forensics. It was a playful twist on the term, nothing macabre or malevolent, I assure you.

So! Pull up a smoothie and dig in. I’ll have a plethora of things for you to sift through.

et cetera